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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Tuesday May 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Kamasi Washington - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4461. 7:30pm. £30.00.

River City Jazzmen w. Maureen Hall - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NN. Tel: 01670 813983. 8:00pm. £5 (raffle inc.) Bob Wade, Gordon Solomon, Keith Stephen, Phil Rutherford, Tommy Graham.

Lindsay Hannon Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

CD Review: Wolfgang Muthspiel – Where The River Goes

Wolfgang Muthspiel (guitar); Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet); Brad Mehldau (piano); Larry Grenadier (double bass); Eric Harland (drums).
(Review by Hugh C).                                                         
Where The River Goes is a natural progression from Wolfgang Muthspiel’s Rising Grace recording of 2016 (reviewed on BSH), reuniting the Austrian guitarist with Brad Mehldau, Ambrose Akinmusire and Larry Grenadier, and bringing in Eric Harland on drums;  these musicians all heavy hitters in their own right.  The compositions, with two exceptions, are all by Muthspiel.
The title track, Where The River Goes opens with Muthspiel’s solo guitar.  Brad Meldhau picks up the fluvial theme then Larry Grenadier joins as the stream widens, finally Eric Harland and Ambrose Akinmusire complete the quintet on their journey downstream.  Atmospheric (almost flugel-like) trumpet from Akinmusire and intricate guitar work from Muthspiel are the highlights in this piece.  

For Django is a fitting tribute to the great man (no, not Mr Bates!).  Descendants is themed around a sequence of tumbling note series, initially played on trumpet and then taken up by piano and guitar in turn.  A steady tempo is maintained by the rhythm section.  Clearing (an improvised composition by all five musicians) evokes the feeling of an encircling forest from which percussive drumbeats and soulful calls emanate, suggesting the presence of a surrounding, hidden people.

Buenos Aires features Muthspiel’s solo guitar, but in an almost classical, Spanish, style.  One Day My Prince Was Gone (unsurprisingly) gives the distinct impression of being a reverse-engineered construction from a disassembled Morey and Churchill hit from the movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – a sort of contrafact, perhaps?  Blueshead (a Brad Mehldau composition) sets off (and continues) at a brisk pace and incorporates a bass solo from Larry Grenadier.   Muthspiel and Mehldau also take solos.  The final track is Panorama, another Muthspiel composition.

Where The River Goes captures five top-flight musicians at their very best, but playing as an ensemble with its own distinct identity.  At just over 48 minutes, this relatively compact disc is also issued on vinyl.
Hugh C.
Catalogue: ECM  2610

Wolfgang Muthspiel plays music from Where The River Goes on tour this autumn with concerts at major venues in Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Estonia and elsewhere. The tour commences in Tallin on 30 October 2018 and finishes on 12 January - before Brexit can affect travel to mainland Europe!
Full tour details here

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